Bill Russell Rookie Card

Who is Bill Russell?

Bill Russell was born in 1934 in Monroe, Louisiana.

As a kid, Russell fought a lot of illnesses

His parents got fed up with the racial tension in the South, so they moved to California

When Russell started playing basketball, he wasn’t great at first. This is contrary to many other players when they were younger.

In 1952, Russell tried out for a walk-on spot at the University of San Francisco. Over time, he earned a scholarship. Russell improved and led his team to an NCAA championship in 1955 and 1956. After college, he played on the Olympic team and won the Gold at Melbourne in 1956

When the Olympics culminated, Bill Russell got drafted into the NBA. The Boston Celtics traded for him as Red Auerbach thought he would be a great addition to the team. He thought right.

In 1957, Russell won his first NBA championship with the team. He didn’t realize it at the time, but Bill Russell would go on to win 11 out of the 12 NBA finals that he appeared in.

During his career, Bill Russell was a 5 time MVP. At one point he scored the second most points in NBA history only falling short of Wilt Chamberlain.

After 1966, Auerbach retired from coaching. Bill Russell could have left, but instead he decided to become a player-coach. He led the team to more championships and is one of the only players to do this. Insane.

In 1975, he got inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame

Why are his cards so valuable?

Bill Russell is an 11 time NBA champion. He is also one of the best defensive players of all time. The NBA did not record blocks at the time, but Russell got known as an outstanding shot blocker during his time.

Russell is also a Celtic. People adore this franchise and it is synonymous with the Yankees in baseball. This makes Bill Russell’s card collectable.

Also, cards in the 1950s-1960s were not as collectable as they are today. This means that finding these cards in pristine condition is ultra rare and could run a fortune.

Most valuable cards:

1955 All-American Sports Club Bill Russell Pre-Rookie #61  

This is Bill Russell’s first sports card. 
It depicts him in college on the San Francisco Dons
This card was hand-cut from a sheet and is considered very rare

1957-58 Topps Bill Russell RC #77

This is a cool action shot of Bill Russell defending

This card is rare as most were not treated as collectables when they got made

Rookie hall of fame cards  collectable, so this is a great card for any personal collection

1961-62 Fleer Bill Russell #38

This card is from the iconic 61-62 fleer set

It is from the same year as Wilt Chamberlain’s rookie card

Depicted is an awesome picture of Bill Russell with a blue background

1961-62 Fleer Bill Russell In-Action #62

This is an action card of Bill Russell shooting a layup

The caption of this card is “Takes to the air”

This is Russell’s second card in the 1961-1962 Fleer set

1968-69 Topps Test Bill Russell #4

This set came out before Topps’ official return to basketball

Bill Russell got depicted dribbling in a black and white card

This set only includes 22 cards and is super rare to collect.

1999 UD Century Legends Epic Signatures Bill Russell #BR

There is also a wilt chamberlain card in this set

The card is epic and there are only few of them out there

The design is simplistic yet pleasing to the eye

2003-04 Exquisite Collection Uniforms Bill Russell #BR Autographed Jersey #/100

There are only 100 of these cards and they look stunning

There is a jersey patch and an auto

The Exquisite collection is high end and this card is immaculate

One of the most valuable autos out there

2007-08 UD Black Octo Autograph  Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon #JOEJJRB #/10

This is not your typical Bill Russell autograph and is very unique

The signatures are genuine and in silver

The card does not have lots of room for artwork and there are only 10 that exist

Long-Term Potential

Bill Russell cards are in low population and will always hold good value

He was an outstanding player than won more rings than he has fingers

He is a basketball icon who is still alive as of writing this

Bill Russell also only has a handful of cards so all these cards have pretty good value


Bill Russell is an 11 time NBA champion and Hall-of-famer

He become known for his ability to score, rebound, and play defense

Russell won the MVP award 5 times in his career and was unstoppable in his prime

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